Paris, one of my favorite cities in the world! It evokes so many feelings and despite having visited this magical place several times I always leave wanting more. There is something about Paris that has me entranced; there is beauty everywhere you look and in everything you taste. With the holiday season fast approaching there are numerous activities and events happening all around the city that shouldn't be missed. Keep reading to find out how you can plan the perfect Holiday City Break In Paris!
Apéritifs on Avenue des Champs-Élysées
This impressive avenue is lined with shops and restaurants that cater to all budgets. We opted to enjoy a nice glass of wine outdoors at Le Fouquet’s before heading to our dinner reservation. The outdoor seating is lined with heaters that actually keep you warm, so sit down, relax and enjoy the energy and excitement of this world-renowned avenue.
Arpège by chef-owner Alain Passard is a three Micheline star restaurant ranked no.12 on the 2017 World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Chef Passard makes his round throughout the night and takes time at each table to chat with his guests, I thought this to be very charming. The restaurant is not at all what you would expect of a three star Michelin, it is cozy, unpretentious and lively. Produce is delivered to the restaurant daily just before lunch service and is known to “never see the inside of a refrigerator”. You will not find red meat on the menu and being a meat lover his veg-centric courses did not disappoint one bit!
Baking Course At Pâtisserie A La Carte
As Chieff trip planner, my duty is to find fun activities that my husband will also enjoy. He likes to bake, myself on the other hand, not so much, I prefer cooking. I like to improvise and be adventurous in the kitchen and unfortunately that is the contrary of what you are supposed to do when baking. After three hours with a pastry chef you will have acquired the know-how to make the tastiest croissants and pain au chocolat. If you have the patience to repeat this very tedious process at home kudos to you, I on the other hand will stick to the neighborhood patisserie or if I’m lucky they’ll be baked fresh at home by the hubby. There are several other classes available at Pâtisserie à la Carte: Macaron, French éclair & Choux Pastry, French Pastry, Traditional French Brioche, French Puff Pastry: Le Mille-Feuille and a five-day course on the art of French pastry. Highly recommend this activity and Pâtisserie à la Carte!
Shopping In Le Marais District
This charming historic district spreads across part of the 3e and 4e arrondissements. Le Marais is home to many shops, restaurants and art galleries, it is also the center of LGBT culture. You will find various French labels like Claudie Pierlot, IRO, Zadig & Voltaire, Maje, Comme des Garcons and other shops like Karl Lagerfeld, Merci and much more. Le Marais offers mid-range fashion, if you are looking for luxury designer labels head over to Avenue Montaigne and surrounding streets where you will find Tom Ford, Channel, Hermes, Prada, Dior, to name but a few.
Massage At The Dior Institut In Plaza Athénée
The legendary Hotel Athénée is where you will find the Dior Institute, offering a wide range of beauty treatments in a very chic setting, after all we’re talking about Christian Dior so elegance and sophistication are to be expected. The hubby and I opted for the couple’s massage. Prior to our massage we were presented with several different fragrances to chose from that were then used during our massage. The massage tables are the most comfortable I’ve ever experienced, the massage was incredibly relaxing and the attention to detail is what sets them apart. You will find a sitting area with Dior lipstick, mascara, powder, perfume and a brush where you can freshen up after your treatment.
For those who love art there is no place like Le Louvre; you will find Egyptian Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Islamic Art; Paintings; Sculptures; Decorative Arts; and Prints and Drawings. I read that if you spent 60 seconds looking at each object, going steadily for eight hours a day, it would take you 75 days to see everything. Let’s be honest, a whole minute to admire ONE piece of art seems a little excessive, I’d say maybe spend 6 seconds per object and that will only take you a mere 7.5 days! Needless to say, we didn’t see much.
For more Museums in Paris check out Top 10 Astonishing Museums That Prove Paris Is a Must For Every Tourist
Rivière Seine Cruise
What a lovely way to see the best of Paris in 1 hour! Get on board at the foot of the Eiffel Tower to admire the most beautiful monuments of the capital thanks to this non-stop cruise on the Seine. Sip on Champagne while you listen to an audio commentary in several languages that explains the history of the magnificent monuments that border the Seine. You will also get a great view of the Eiffel Tower so be sure to take the cruise from sunset to enjoy the light show which takes place every hour on the hour.
Arc de Triomphe
Get some breathtaking photos at the top of the Arc de Triomphe which is located at the western end of the Champs-Elysées. This revered patriotic site is in honor of those who fought for France during the Napoleonic Wars. Make sure to take the underground route to get to the site and do not attempt to cross the round-about unless you have a death wish. If you wish to get to the top you will need to queue to the left, usually the longer line and if you simply want to remain on street level enter on the right.
Visit A Christmas Market During Your Holiday City Break In Paris
I was very disappointed to hear that the famous Champs Elysées market will not be making an appearance this year. But don't worry, there are plenty other great markets all around Paris to enjoy mulled wine and french gastronomy. Here are a few!
Le Village De Noël sur le Parvis de la Défense runs from November 23 to December 28, 2017. This is one of the largest and prettiest Christmas markets in Paris where you'll find a variety of artisan products and delicious food from all over France. It is located at Esplanade de la Défense.
Le Marché de Noël Alsacien runs from December 1-16 2017 at Paris Gare de L'Est. During these first two weeks of December you'll find various producers and artisans showcasing typical Alsatian culinary treats.
Dinner At Le Jules Verne At The Top Of The Eiffel Tower
After failing to get a reservation at Le Jules Verne several weeks prior to our trip, Carl decided to give it one last shot on that same evening. We are both Montreal natives and the French seem to find our accent rather amusing. Pair his usual charming ways with the accent and that's how you get a table! When entering at the foot of the tower you take a private elevator all the way up to the restaurant. Sadly we did not get a table by the window, guess he wasn’t charming enough. The 6-course meal was not as loved as the attraction itself. I expected a little more from this one star Michelin restaurant but I suppose the mere fact that we got to enjoy a gourmet meal at the top of the Eiffel Tower should be enough, or should it? On our way out we were escorted through a separate entrance onto the second floor of the Eiffel Tower to enjoy more views of the city without the line up and the crowd.
Where to stay: Renaissance Paris Arc De Triomphe Hotel
In order to maintain my Platinum Membership Level I try and book hotels under the Marriott group of brands. There are many perks to sticking with one hotel rewards program and Marriott offers several luxury brands to choose from all over the world. The Renaissance Paris Arc De Triomphe is situated in the 8e arrondissement, an 8 minute walk to l’Arc de Triomphe and avenue des Champs-Elysees. It’s 2.4 KM from the Tour Eiffel.
Time to start planning your Holiday City Break In Paris! The best time to enjoy all the activities and events happening during the holidays is mid-November until the end of December. Have you been to the Paris during the holidays? Let me know in the comments below!
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